Tuesday, 25 November 2008


You wouldn't believe me if I tell you the truth. No! Not because you are a liar , rather you are an epitome of truth and anything resembling it, however,you have become so very much inured to it that its presence doesn't seem possible. Its paranoia , really, it is so. I am typing this blog here sitting in office , fearing that no one catches me doing this. Driving to office poses a challenge in keeping the fear of being hit , subdued. And then when I reach the outskirts of my workplace a mild fear of collapsing building and collapsing economy slithers into my mind. I bet it does with you too, only you have got too inured to it.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Aravinda and Pavan

Who are they ? Well I am sure you know Aravinda Adiga much better than Pavan K Verma. Reason. Former has just won the prestigious Man booker prize for his book, The White Tiger , while latter is the author of a critique of Indian masses "The Great Indian Middle Class". Last week, I had been reading these two and I almsot felt like I am reading the same book. One treats the same issue in an aesthetic manner while the other takes us through some glaring facts.

I will discuss them individually, however.

The White Tiger.

An epistolary, highly criticized, facile English book by a novice author. I had my own misgivings about this book after having read so many bad reviews about the authenticity of the tale and blah blah. However, I took a chance and it paid. For this is an awesome book by an Indian foreigner, who has critically or rather cynically taken up the case of lower strata of Indian society. He portrays a devilish picture of Indian rich class and sad and gloomy picture of a Indian Poor. He has portrayed with craft and ingenuousness of Balram Halwai, the protagonist, the hardships of a poor man and the exploitation of poor by rich and powerful. He has been utter;y cynic in his description of a parallel India that exists and is untouched by the boon of developments. All the rhetoric of Indian economic upheaval are nothing but a lie on their face. He has taken liberty to create self conceived notions of poor people and his metaphor of Village as Darkness would but only enrage many. He could be vindicated on the ground that he has taken up a work of fiction, and in fiction you need to go to extremes to draw out the contrasts.

However, the base story wasn't something which an Indian reader would feel as a novel one. They see it around themselves daily. Maybe foreign readers would find this very surprising, considering the image of Indian they have post Globalization boom. It was the narration which was interesting. The base lacked in originality and authenticity however the topping was good.

The Great Indian Middle Class:

This book is by an erudite author, backed by his IFS post in Indian government, which leaves no opportunity to look for any trace of an inauthentic book. Rather , its a revelation of the way things are around us. The country is doing well in economic terms , but how much share has the 40% of the lower strata of this country have had? He asks this question on your face, and along with that he brings out beautifully the central theme of Indian Middle Class. How it has evolved, what are its inner landscapes and how it has continuously failed to read the writing on the wall. He appreciates the tenacity of ,middle class as successful entrepreneurs, labors ,winners despite all odds, however he shuns them for their inability to look beyond their own personal gain. He shuns the short sightedness of this class and ridicules the way they have got inured to the pandemic poverty around them, forgetting even that it exists. This book beautifully discusses the transition of middle class and their ideologies from pre -independence to post independence to the era of economic liberation [1991] . How has this particular class ,which always looks for an ideology to live by , in lack of it, has become a consuming giant , not looking beyond its own personal interest. He also points out that in a country which is still so vastly poor it doesn't make sense for the middle class to be so ,lost in itself. If they don't see the writing on the wall now, it could lead to a deeper chasms between two classes and also a breakage of social fabric and more so in his own words ,

"If it [the middle class] does not [look at it] , the India of today will be the envy of amoral,cynical,economically lackluster and debilitatingly divided nation that can emerge tomorrow. the harvest of an opportunity lost, a heritage wasted"

Personally , I liked the starting the book a lot , wherein he raises a pertinent question that when at the stroke of midnight India became free , Nehru delivered his speech in ENGLISH, certainly not the language of common masses. He has very beautifully brought forward a relevant point about the Indian freedom movement and freedom. Quoting him over here,

"On 15 August 1947 the bells of freedom tolled for all Indians, but they tolled specially for those who inherited the paraphernalia of giving shape to independent India"

Thursday, 6 November 2008

A ride to ....

A gift for you on your birthday; a constrained choice of options and possibilities. What shall I gift you? Shall I weave a dreamland for you or shall I net a fairy tale? I wish to take you to the land unknown, my pen would love to do so.
Come! Lend me your hands! Hold my hands tight for it will be a long flight into those lands. We are out on a long journey. Hearken now the gurgling of waters in the stream flowing down, the chirping of birds and the whistle of the wind welcomes us. Moon shines there , half naked, in the sky. Feel its silhouette on your face. And now hold my hands tighter for we shall go further now to those distant parts , where no one knows us.

Clouds shroud the moon intermittently and so does it do with your basking face. Open up your hands wide and feel the wind on your face, allow it to dissolve you in itself. Watch trees there, reveling in joy with the wind. Come ! we too shall dance with joy and forget the why.

And now the night has grown darker as the moon has faded away. Wind moderates into a gentle breeze. Lets rest now for a while. Put your head on my shoulders and hear our breaths racing against each other, listen to the beats of our hearts creating a symphony by taking turns. You lend yourself to me and I take in the whole. Your warm breath soothes me and makes the cold night bearable.

A symphony arises out of our union and falls on our hearts , spell binding it. Mind goes numb and we get lost into each other. The journey isn't drawing to close however we get lost, never to be found again. And in one last moment of sense I kiss your eyes and whisper into your ears , " Happy Birthday".

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A lonely night

Loneliness is the poverty of soul. I have had heard that somewhere, and was observing now. A silent roar was running through my body producing a deafening silence. Things are moving in front of my eyes in one moment, and in other moment they are still. A chaos was running through my room , things were falling apart. Strong wind gushed into my room and it became pitch dark. A thunder growled heavily and I cowered with fear and closed my eyes and ears, and shrieked. Calm down! Peace!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

A cultural miss

Being born in Bihar, brought up in present Jharkhand and growing in Karnatka , I have always had an implicit phrase imposed on me that I have had a "cultural miss". I feel alienated to all these cultures that I have lived in. While at my hometown I am being looked as an outsider with an inside root.And while I am in Bangalore I represent a Bihari culture in their eyes. Its difficult for me to deny any of these remarks put upon me, all these tags are stamped on my face by people around me.

My moments

Every few moments
I get a sense of being alive.

At times its the sight of beauty,
and mostly its the call of duty,

Beauty lends itself in munificent ways,
from a charming lady to bright sun rays.

Pulses rejuvenate at the sight of it,
defying any morals that may defy it.

Call of duty, puts all aside;
forced to take strident and long strikes.

What lies then in between those moments,
a lethargy, a tardiness an unnamed power, which clips me down and bringeth the silence.

Ahh! questions comes back looming large.
Am I in search of the peace or do I possess it in those moments.

Or its just an another view of the moment.
I may never know this, and for the moment I shall be the moment,
that lies in my laps.

My pen and me...

My pen swings out of desperation to weave a blanket of words.A blanket that would engulf me into its majesty, hide me in its bosoms, away from all the joys and sorrows , and would take me to a land that promises nothing yet delivers all.

Rudderless boats would get a complex from the wandering course that it takes. Its ramble is hard to be put together in a logical chain. Weave a cozy blanket of love, a poem of beauty, or an epic of duty. Its aspirations are boundless, higher than the sky above and deeper than the faith.

A story to tell, a joke to spill, a night to glorify , a dress to be revered , all seems possible with it. They just wait for their turns, who knows which way shall this philanderer turn the next moment.

Aimless and directionless though it is, however, a solvent of time couldn't be better. A loving friend mostly , a boring pal at times, a critique more often and an element of envy in some moments. It never leaves my life free of its influence. Come O! friend , lets move to where we take each other.